Human Weakness – Ruminations On Cortana

Remember how I said that I was intending to write more positive Halo pieces?

Well, I started out on the right track. I went back to older fiction with the intent of looking for some lore to analyse and discuss, thinking that Evolutions would be a good bet (as it has been for me in the past where I’ve written about specific stories like Soma The Painter)…

And then I started rereading Human Weakness.

Before I knew it, I was compiling a copiously large list of quotes that so beautifully encapsulated Cortana’s arc – the set-up for Halo 4 – and a clear set of contradictions to her characterisation in Halo 5. I also happened to have a half-finished post already in the works about Cortana, a one year retrospective on Halo 5’s first birthday that I ditched in-favour of the rumination on Reach, so this just naturally came together.cm1 Continue reading

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – A Narrative Appraisal

What’s this? A non-Halo post?

Yes, once upon a time, I did not write exclusively about Halo, which ended after September in 2014 – shortly following the one year anniversary of this blog. It’s been almost three and a half years for me now, a good two of those years have been solely focused on one particular franchise… so I thought that, with it being the new year ‘n’ all, now was the time to branch out again.

This doesn’t mean that my Halo content will be decreasing at all, but sometimes there will be something else that comes along that I want to talk about.

Today, it’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. And, oh boy, there’s a lot to talk about!

(As this is an analysis of the campaign, here’s your obvious spoiler warning – no detail is held back here.)cod0 Continue reading

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Reimagining the Guardians

What’s this? Another post within the space of two days?

I wasn’t actually expecting to write another article in such a short amount of time, but I’ve spent some of the weekend going over my notes for Hunters in the Dark for Halo Wars 2-related purposes, and then this morning (now yesterday morning at the time of editing this post for release) I came across this awesome piece of fan art by Jabberwacky on Reddit which clicked an idea in my head.

Well, it wasn’t so much an idea as it was a question.

To what extent could we un-break the setting if we replaced the Guardians with Retriever Sentinels?

retriever Continue reading

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Reach Ruminations

Oh, hello!

It has been a little while, hasn’t it? That happens every now and then, life gets in the way and prevents me from doing the truly important things – like writing copious amounts about fictional universes (and, boy, have I written a lot for you all to digest today).

I had actually written up a post to be released on October 27th, doing a one year retrospective on ‘Halo 5 Cortana’ following the story Dominion Splinter in Tales From Slipspace. But I simply lost the will to finish and post it. Even after the passage of a year, the mere thought of that and the years we’re going to have to endure it instills a sense of fatigue in me that just puts me off writing.

Instead, I decided to turn to the last Halo game that made me feel this way and do a proper rumination on it to see the extent to which my opinion of the campaign may or may not have changed. (I should probably preface this now by saying that it has… a little bit.)

So come beat this dead horse with me one more time for a lengthy and critical look at Bungie’s ‘swan song’, Halo: Reach.re5 Continue reading

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Reimagining Halo 5’s Antagonists: The Ur-Didact and Mendicant Bias

In the first of these ‘reimagining’ posts, I discussed how I would have written Cortana in Halo 5 while working within the constraints and limitations of Halo 5’s established narrative structure and disrupting as few campaign resources as possible.

While I presented a case to be made for how I think her role in the story could have been improved, I am still adamant that bringing Cortana back (at least this soon, in this way) is not at all the direction that I would have taken.

No, I have a different view on which two characters I’d have put in Cortana and the Warden’s place, which is what I’ll be discussing in this third reimagining piece. This is how I would have told Halo 5’s story with the Ur-Didact and Mendicant Bias in the antagonist role.didact17 Continue reading

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Reimagining Jul ‘Mdama’s Fate

As those of you who kept up with my Halo 5 postmortem articles know, this is a subject that I have rather a lot to say about. While I’ve already discussed and analysed the matter of Jul ‘Mdama’s death and my alternate narrative for him at-length, it has been spread across various other posts and I wanted to pull that all together into one.

Like with the post I did on reimagining the way in which Cortana was written in Halo 5, this will not be a complete rewrite of the story – rather, this post will aim to actually work within the confines of the game and the limits of the narrative structure and resources as best it can to illustrate how this could have been done.

In the words of ‘Mdama himself, “we have no time to dither”. Let’s just get into it…julm7 Continue reading

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On the Organon, the Domain’s Origins, and the Precursors

Another week, another new Halo release, another loaded topic of esoteric ancient era lore to talk about…

As if Mythos wasn’t enough, just earlier this week we saw the release of the new anthology novel, Halo: Fractures. With it came a smorgasbord of incredible stories from new and old writers of the franchise, lots of interesting twists, reveals, and emotional gut-punches (the ending of Oasis, man, and that epilogue) for us story fans to digest.

Back when the book was announced and we were told that there were going to be some Forerunner stories in it, I said that I would do what I did with Soma the Painter and write something on them. Today, we’re looking at some lore introduced to us in Promises To Keep by Christie Golden, and how it was the turn-of-the-screw for a theory I’ve had about the Domain that has been floating around in my head since Silentium came out. After that, I’m going to lend a few ideas I have about the Precursors and how they may have formulated the very idea of the Mantle in the first place.

If you hadn’t already guessed, this post contains SPOILERS for Halo: Fractures.cea70 Continue reading

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